Darren Till was not the same in round three on Saturday. | File photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
It wasn’t the ideal result, but Saturday’s UFC Fight Night Dublin bout between Darren Till and Nicolas Dalby – which ended in a majority draw – served to raise the profile of both up-and-coming welterweights.
Till looked to be in complete control early, as he scored a knockdown in round one and disdainfully shrugged off the majority of his foe’s advances over the course of the first 10 minutes. However, that confidence turned to dismay when Till apparently suffered an injury throwing a punch.
“I think I threw an overhand and I just felt my shoulder pop. It’s popped many times before but I’ve never had surgery on it,” Till said. “I was just trying to put it back into place without him noticing so that he couldn’t capitalize on it. Finally it went back into place, and I just tried to keep on fighting. It came into my head whether I should lie down and quit but I just had to keep on going.”
Likely down two rounds to none on the scorecards, Dalby poured it on in the final stanza. He rocked Till with a head kick and hard punches on the feet, forcing his adversary to shoot out of desperation. It was Dalby, however, who ended up in full mount later in the round, and he appeared to be on the verge of a finish as he pounded away from the dominant position. Somehow Till returned to his feet and survived, but the effort from Dalby was enough to garner a pair of 10-8 scorecards from the cageside judges.
“I think a draw is fair, you know. I knew he beat me in the first couple of rounds. But then I came back in the third,” said Dalby, who did his best to hush the chorus of boos that ensued when the verdict was initially announced. “So I was happy with the draw. If you look at what he did in the first two rounds, I don’t think I did enough to beat him so a draw is a fair result."
Till, meanwhile, felt that he did enough to get the nod.
“I did win that fight, though. I got a knockdown in the first. I fought in the first two rounds perfectly and Nicolas didn’t know what to do with me,” Till said. “He had a good third round but that doesn’t mean that he won the fight. I’m going to go back to training on Monday and just do what I do. I’m going to be the champion of the UFC -- this doesn’t change a thing."